Thursday, February 19, 2015

What having a two year old has taught me

"Good luck when she turns two!"

It seems everyone said that to me before my munchkin turned two last spring  Honestly, it scared me.  I had worked in daycares with two and three year olds before...could it really be that bad?  Are the "Terrible Twos" really that terrible?  Well...yes and no.  There were definitely days I wanted to throw in the towel and just leave her in her booster seat until her dad got home.  Days I wanted to curl up on the couch and pretend she wasn't screaming for no apparent reason.  There were also days that left my cheeks hurting from smiling so much.  Times where she would squeeze my cheeks together and tell me "You're my favorite friend!"

Things that didn't make having a two year old fun:

  1. The whininess that shows up right after the second birthday
  2. The tantrums
  3. The fact that my child would flat out ignore instructions
  4. Potty training
  5. Having my child argue back
Things that make two year olds so much fun:

  1. The fun conversations
  2. Hearing that I'm her favorite friend
  3. The independence she is finding
  4. All of our fun play dates and adventures
  5. Watching her learn each and every day
Honestly, sometimes I'm amazed we have made it through the last year without me losing my mind.  I had to try so many different things to make it through the tough days.  Sometimes I failed miserably and was left feeling guilty for yelling at my child when she was just frustrated that she couldn't help me understand what she needed.  Sometimes I remembered to take a few deep breaths, get on her level, and reminded myself that she is only two and sometimes I expect too much from her. 

What has worked for us:
  1. Time Out- If she has been warned and keeps misbehaving, she has to sit on her time out stool for two minutes. 
  2. Taking toys away- When munchkin is really not listening and time out and other discipline isn't working, I go extreme.  Twice this past year I have taken every toy (minus books and puzzles) out of her play room.  She then gets to earn her toys back with good behavior and chores.
  3. Taking a break- I'm with my munchkin all the time.  I chose to be a stay at home mom, so I am in charge of entertaining her, teaching her, and everything else during the day.  My loving husband encourages me to get out every now and then to take a break.  Girl's night is great for recharging!  Munchkin gets a break from me, and I get to step back and appreciate what I have. 

This face makes the tantrums a little easier

Now that munchkin is almost three, people are telling me that it's going to be harder than two was.  If that's the case, I'd love to hear any advice for handling it with grace!

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